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Born May 18, 1953; got saved at Truett Memorial BC in Hayesville, NC 1959. On rigged ballot which I did not rig got Most Intellectual class of 71, Gaffney High School. Furman Grad, Sociology major but it was little tougher than Auburn football players had Had three dates with beautiful women the summer of 1978. Did not marry any of em. Never married anybody cause what was available was undesirable and what was desirable was unaffordable. Unlucky in love as they say and even still it is sometimes heartbreaking. Had a Pakistani Jr. Davis Cupper on the Ropes the summer of 84, City Courts, Rome Georgia I've a baby sitter, watched peoples homes while they were away on Vacation. Freelance writer, local consultant, screenwriter, and the best damn substitute teacher of Floyd County Georgia in mid 80's according to an anonymous kid passed me on main street a few years later when I went back to get a sandwich at Schroeders. Had some good moments in Collinsville as well. Ask Casey Mattox at if he will be honest about it. I try my best to make it to Bridges BBQ in Shelby NC at least four times a year.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Friend Authors book on Jung Volk; Sells Knives

My friend Don Gregory, native of Crossville, Alabama and member of the Class of 72 there, has written this biography about a man he befriended in Huntsville, Alabama who was a member of Hitler's Youth Movement.

Don has a PHD in Physics from U Penn and is a tenured Professor at U Bama Huntsville.

Most Saturdays he sells Knives on the Upper Main Thoroughfare at Collinsville Trade Day. I look for a book signing there on site say about 10 Am first Sat in June at his knife stand.
He is one of the better, more honest knife traders in these parts and has a strong network of local artisan trader feeders who craft their own handles on some of the better cuts of steel.
He's a sharp fellow, great conversationalist on matters from Religion to Evolution, Film to the price of free range grain fed chickens and the eggs they produce; and politics.
Things are going well for the book. A month ago he already had sales of 1200 copies prepublished.
I wouldn't be surprised if he doesn't do an event in Berlin before year's end.

Stephen Fox

New link added Feb 27

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Detoxifying Churches

My blogging friend Ryan Hale has a very good blog up about Churches who Wound.

Do you know any like that?

Here is the core of Hale's piece:

I'll admit it right now; the meanest people I've ever met in my life are Christians. And those people will manipulate everything & everyone to get some power in the church because it gives them an avenue of legitimacy to just run over people. Stories are legion of deacons who are almost the Anti-Christ in charcter & action. I remember one WMU lady in particular . . . never mind.All of those things wound people. It is real. It hurts. And it is killing churches because they are losing numbers every day.The answer is that the churches need to seriously evaluate themselves. It means taking a long, hard look at what it is, why it is, how it got there, & where it wants to go. It means detoxifying itself --- a very painful process. It means talking to the community, former members, people who dislike the church & even people who simply "heard rumors" & then face up to its image & history. For many churches, it will mean public apologies & private weeping over past sins.

You can read his entire blog at

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Update, Feb 19/The Tyranny of Petty Coercion

Last few days I have been deep in thought about the convergence and testimony of two good minds about the dismissal of substantive mainline belief, the Protestantism of Pulitzer Winner Marilynne Robinson, and the Baptist Tradition of Bill Hull.
Together her essay and his recent pamphlet are a good antidote to the elite dismissals of Progressive Baptist witness by the Wine and Cheese Editor of the Wall Street Journal that has caused quite a stir at, and the blogs of Baptists Today lights Tony Cartledge and Johnny Pierce.
On the other end Robinson has some sharp words for the likes of CB Scott, Richard Land and Al Mohler.
Come back to this blog in a couple days as I hope to have some quote from Hull, and further quotes from Robinson for you.
And I will be linking some other avenues of this discussion.

Here is an update of Feb 19, a couple more quotes from Ms. Robinson:

Pg 258 of the Death of Adam:

"I am a liberal. By that I mean society exists to nurture and liberate the human spirit, and that large mindedness and open handedness are the means by which these things are to be accomplished....I believe opportunities of every kind should be seized upon to advance the well being of people, especially in assuring them decent wages.

pg 260:

"I am a Christian...I have strong attachment to the Scriptures, and to theology, music, and art Christianity has inspired. My most inward thoughts and ponderings are formed by the narratives and traditions of Christianity. I expect them to engage me on my deathbed.
Over the years many a good soul has let me know by one means or another the living out of this [tradition] is not, shall we say, cool. There are little jokes about being born again. There are little lectures about religion as a cheap cure for existential anxiety.
....I am extremely reluctant to talk about it all, chiefly because my belief does not readily reduce itself to simple statements.
Nevertheless I experience these little coercions. Am I the last one to get the news that this religion that has so profoundly influenced world civilization over centuries has been ceded to the clods and obscurantists? Don't I know that JS Bach and MLKing have been entirely eclipsed by Jerry Falwell?
.....Cultures commonly employ the methods of cults, making their members subject and dependent. And nations at intervals march lockstep to enormity and disaster. A successful autocracy rests on the universal failure of individual courage. In a democracy, abdications of conscience are never trivial. They demoralize politics, debilitate candor, and disrupt thought."

Re: Mark vs. Criswell and Young?
by Stephen Fox on Sat Feb 16, 2008 2:49 pm

All of you need to turn up the version in The Death of Adam where she gets down to the nitty gritty of her Christianity in a secular culture.Pulitzer Prize winner Marilynne Robinson:here, moreover, is a quote:

Courage seems to me to be dependent on cultural definition. By this I do not mean only that it is a word that blesses different behaviors in different cultures, though that is clearly true. I mean also, and more importantly, that courage is rarely expressed except where there is sufficient consensus to support it. Theologians used to write about a prevenient grace, which enables the soul to accept grace itself. Perhaps there must also be a prevenient courage to nerve one to be brave. It is we human beings who give one another permission to show courage, or, more typically, withhold such permission. We also internalize prohibitions, enforcing them on ourselves – prohibitions against, for example, expressing an honest doubt, or entertaining one. This ought not to be true in a civilization like ours, historically committed to valuing individual conscience and free expression. But it is.. . .It is sad to consider how much first-rate courage must be devoted in this world to struggling out of the toils of sheer pettiness. The Saudi women who first drove automobiles risked and suffered penalties, overcame inhibitions, and shattered norms, heroic in their defiance of an absurd convention. We have our own Rosa Parks. That such great courage should have been required to challenge such petty barriers is a demonstration of the power of social consensus. How many minor coercions are required to sustain similar customs and usages? How aware are any of us, absent direct challenge, of how we also deal in trivial coercion?

sfox>not the entire essay here but more:

Thursday, February 14, 2008

CB Scott TRUMPED big Time at

CB Scott of the has got his Baptist history and doctrine noodles trumped big time by a discussion at
Mark, a Baptist Staffer in Alabama, as well as Bruce Gourley, at one time a doctoral student of Alabama Baptist historian Wayne Flynt, has eaten Scott's lunch.

Check Scott's version of the "misremembrances" of Ed Young versus the wiser and more informed exchange at

and while there find David Flick's picture from Ralph Elliot's book on Genesis that shows the world Scott lives in

I'm doin my best to link that for you as well.

Scroll down a little CB for Flick's great sketch of your world of Genesis in the link above.
See if that is the one Rick Lance espouses.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Dissent: Are Mormons and SBaps any different?

Not much; at least in my experience.

Check the following and click on the imbedded links.

Mormons and Baptists Alike on Dissent?
by Stephen Fox on Wed Feb 13, 2008 3:38 pm
I watched the last part of the rebroadcast on PBS Frontline and American Experience last night about the Mormons.Richard Land, and Mohler aren't much different from the MOrmons when it comes to dissent, to say nothing of Paige Patterson.

A Valentine's Day Poem

Don't want to let the 14th sneak up on me without an ode to Romance.

Here is the Poem

My Love said she would marry only me

And Job, himself, could not make her Care.

For what women say to Lover's, you'll agree

One writes on Running Water
or on air.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Floating a Presidential Ticket/And Renewal/Alarcon

An acquaintance has the following musings on an Obama ticket for 08.
I promised to air it here at my illustrious blog.

Barack Obama should start now trying to convince General Colin Powell to join his ticket as his running mate. Powell has shown no interest in running before, but, he wouldn't really be running a campaign, more like "going along for the ride." And Powell has been very supportive and admiring of Senator Obama.

Part of what Obama represents is a post-racial American politics. An Obama/Powell ticket would represent that plus a post-partisan politics as well.

Obama could assuage doubts even some of his supporters have about his experience and youth.

Powell could get a kind of redemption for the UN fiasco he was saddled with back in 2003, really the only blemish on his record of service. Powell has to accept some responsibility for that disaster, but he was also something of a pawn for Cheney et al. Powell's help with a successful handling of a withdrawal from Iraq would be the best answer to the invasion he warned against in the first place.

Obama is the only political figure in decades who could pull off a cross-party ticket - a truly uniting ticket. If it doesn't happen with him, chances are it won't be a possibilty for another generation or more.

A Presidential ticket that really had values that went beyond party lines would be exactly the revolutionary kind of approach people are hoping for and expecting out of Obama, and the ticket would be unbeatable.

Imagine the Vice Presidential debates. Colin Powell debating foreign policy with whatever Republican McCain chooses. Could it possibly be a contest?

If Obama and Powell could both be convinced that this ticket would be the best thing for America, I believe they would do it. They're patriots, after all.

Obama simply couldn't do better than General Powell. And frankly, General Powell couldn't do better than Senator Obama.

Fox> An email acquaintance and graduate of Indian Springs Prep School in Birmingham, Alabama, Peru, NYC and LA; the up and coming novelist Daniel Alarcon of has endorsed Obama for President in the TNR primary if you would like to google up the others.

Here is what Alarcon said:

In the newest issue of the magazine, fourteen eggheads and eminences wrote short essays announcing whom they'd be voting for and why. We'll be unveiling these responses on The Plank throughout the next two weeks. This is what Daniel Alarcón, author of War by Candlelight, had to say:
I spent last May with a group of writers touring Arab universities, meeting with students in Syria, Jordan, and Palestine. Whenever we were able to speak informally, politics--specifically, American politics--came up again and again. At times, the anxiety among the students we met was overwhelming. They wanted to know why we had gone to Iraq, why we had reelected Bush, why we had squandered our opportunity to lead. Which brings me to this year's presidential contest. I've never voted with much enthusiasm, and, certainly, this year feels different. Domestically, the Democratic candidates speak much the same language. But U.S. elections are not simply for internal consumption: Our choice will have an impact on our international standing. Barack Obama's global roots, his personal narrative, his ability to inspire--he, alone among the candidates, can usher in a new kind of foreign policy.

Fox> And in the spirit of this ticket is this call for Renewal today at the Newsweek Religion Blog by one of Ethel's sons.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Memphis Declaration and FSchafer Alert: Need Ryan Hale's aid with CB Scott and Adrian Roger's David

Click on the blue link below as there are several great links you will be transferred to.

Adrian Rogers' son David has blogged about the Lausanne Movement, set for 2010 in South Africa. In so doing, in my opinion he is edging toward reallignament with the Baptist World Alliance, and showing evidence he may be open to David Gushee's courtship on President Carter's New Baptist Covenant.
CB Scott, a hardliner in Alabama who professes good relations with Samford President Westmoreland; CB Scott claims a fatherly relationship with Ben Cole, who may be straying off the Patterson/Mohler SBC reservation.
What does all this mean?
I am not sure.
Randall Balmer will be speaking at Furman March 17.
I hope Andy Westmoreland of Samford will find a way to bring him to Birmingham with Richard Land this fall, before the National election, so we can have a strong and open discussion on all the matters, even the promise raised by the New Baptist Covenant.

In the meantime do take a look at CB Scott wandering in the wilderness, trying to make sense of it all.
And Ryan Hale, pick this up at your blog. Maybe David Rogers and CB Scott will feel more comfortable navigating these treacherous and unknown waters there.

CB Scott's link is embedded in the link below.
Hale's blog is

Hale signed the Memphis Declaration with Ben Cole, CB Scott and Harry Dent's daughter, Ginny Brant.

Adrian's David Rogers on Baptist Covenant
by Stephen Fox on Wed Feb 06, 2008 6:56 pm
Bdid has done us all a service and started an interesting conversation in crossblogging reactions to NBC

Hour later update
This just in
Francis Schaeffer's son Franky has endorsed OBama for President.
What will Mohler do; what about Richard LAnd
Where will Dawson Memorial send its CP dollars.
What does it mean to CB Scott?

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Collinsville Film Society Breaks 60/40 for Obama/And MLK

Great deal of suspense among the charter members, some of whom have moved to another state, but late last night a holdout voter declared and the suspense if over, by a 60/40 percentage points members broke for Obama. Whether this is an index of anything, whether we are trendsetters, who knows.

I voted about noon in interesting circumstances, but everything was civil. All the elements of a short story, but such is the occasion everytime I go to town where my maternal family goes back to 1845; a town the subject of two state wide shown documentaries.

But it was brought home to me just this morning, the gross and simple human heart is universal and every polling booth today on Super Tuesday will have its short stories.

I wonder how it is playing in George Singleton and Ron Rash territory, which come to think of it was couple weeks ago.

Point being more white folk gonna vote for Obama in Alabama today than one might imagine.


and speaking of film
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford should be in a video store near you today; and has this fine review of No Country for Old Men

PS: And on this historic day came across this gem from my friend at Furman Echol Nix

Just click on Sweet Jesus and or the furman link

Sweet Jesus
by Stephen Fox on Tue Feb 05, 2008 4:18 pm


Monday, February 04, 2008

Will the Atlanta Baptist Covenant Come to Collinsville?

I have had several conversation with folks in Collinsville about my overnight trip to the Atlanta Baptist Covenant Thursday.
I sat about two chairs away from President Carter Friday afternoon in the breakout session with Daniel Carro and Richard Wilson on Immigration Theology, titled Welcoming the Stranger.

I will come back to this in the next few days, further networking and hoping to probe the conscience of the town on this justice issue.

Here is how it is beginning to play at the forums at

Just click on the blue I Have and probe around. Several in Collinsville are very proficient at navigating this site.
Here they can see what the Baptist network of Becky Kennedy, Jon Appleton, the Habitat Community of John and Susan Weaver Morgan, and the Baptist roots of Matthew Morgan are contemplating.
I heard Becky's former preacher, of Waco, now in Decatur, Ga. preach Thusday night. She brought tears to my eyes.
Just click on I have and when you bring up the whole piece you can read an earlier oped by Daniel Carro.
He had very interesting observation about the politics of security and how 30,000 people disappeared in his native Argentina; just like to a much lesser fate so far, I have disappeared from the church rolls of Collinsville Baptist Church.

I have
by Stephen Fox on Mon Feb 04, 2008 7:42 pm
a concrete and specific hope to come out of the Baptist Covenant.Neil, I hope you will be bring this to the attention of Hispanic Advocate Richard Wilson at Mercer as I intend to email him and Daniel Carro about it as well as the Nunoz Isaac initiative